Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of synthetic chemicals that have been widely used for more than 60 years to make plastics, firefighting foams, and lubricants, and to help make products stain-resistant, waterproof, and nonstick. Addressing and managing PFAS in the environment is one of the most pressing issues facing EPA and its partners. EPA is partnering with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) and Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP); the Environmental Council of States (ECOS) and the Environmental Research Institute of the States (ERIS); Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy; and Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment to launch a technical challenge regarding the destruction of PFAS. The Challenge asks Solvers to submit detailed plans for a non-thermal way of destroying PFAS in concentrated aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), while creating the least amount of potentially harmful byproducts.
- The Seeker may award a total prize award pool of $50,000. The minimum full award amount is $30,000. The Seeker can allocate higher individual award amounts, as deemed appropriate. The Challenge award will be contingent upon results of critical analysis and evaluation by the Seeker. Meeting the Technical Requirements does not guarantee that the proposed solution will receive an award from the Seeker. Partial cash prizes may be considered for solutions that meet some, but not all, of the criteria.
- Winning Solver(s) may be invited to reduce their solution to practice. Solvers should make it clear if they have the interest and ability for subsequent development phases and would be willing to consider future collaborations and/or subsequent competitions with support of government staff and facilities.